Government-Sponsored Fake News Worsens Epidemics of Respiratory Infections Including the Coronavirus: Global Survey   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Abstract: "The growth of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has prompted some government-sponsored Internet disinformation campaigns. We assumed that government-sponsored disinformation may deteriorate infectious disease epidemics through three mechanisms: ineffective coping, institutional distrust, and stigma avoidances. By employing global surveys across 144 countries for the period 2000-2017, we examined the association between government-sponsored disinformation and the spread of respiratory infections before the COVID-19 outbreak. After controlling for climatic, public health, socioeconomic, and political factors, we observed that government-sponsored disinformation significantly increased the incidence, prevalence, and death percentages of respiratory infections in populations. These empirical results thus deliver a warning: To contain the damage from pandemics, governments must immediately stop sponsoring disinformation campaigns. Because these respiratory infections share a common transmission pathway with COVID-19, our findings shed light on the mechanisms through which information environments play a major role in the management of modern pandemics."

Report Number:
Working Paper Series 2020-32
2020 The Authors
Retrieved From:
Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem): https://www.v-dem.net/
Media Type:
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